#Crazy #Eddies #fallen #empire #Author #unpacks #insaaaane #story
“His prices are insaaaane!”
In the event you lived within the tri-state space within the Seventies and ‘80s, those four words just triggered the memory of Jerry Carroll frenetically hawking Crazy Eddie in TV commercials that can’t be forgotten — irrespective of how a lot you attempt.
It was fact in promoting, nevertheless it was the one acquaintance oEddie Antar had with the reality. Though he constantly undersold, undercut and outperformed his opponents, none of his strategies had been authorized. The chain, headquartered in Edison, finally reported gross sales of $350 million, however the enterprise was
It was fact in promoting, nevertheless it was the one acquaintance proprietor Eddie Antar had with the reality. Though he constantly undersold, undercut and outperformed his opponents, none of his strategies had been authorized. The chain, headquartered in Edison, finally reported gross sales of $350 million, however the enterprise was constructed on lies.
Antar, who died in Ocean Township six years in the past, took everybody he might for all that he might.
“Retail Gangster: The Insane, Real-Life Story of Crazy Eddie” by Gary Weiss recounts Antar’s crooked journey, from teenage scammer of vacationers in Time Sq. clip joints to mogul who bilked hundreds of thousands.
He wanted others to assist him; this was theft on a grand degree. In a single instance, Antar bestowed the title of director of service on a loyal worker, however Weiss writes that director of guarantee fraud would have been extra correct.
“When customers brought in items for repairs that had an expired warranty, he’d give the units back to them, tell them they were out of luck, and file claims with the manufacturers anyway,” Weiss writes. “He would alter the dates of purchase so the manufacturers would be forced to pay for the repairs. He also billed manufacturers for parts that were not replaced and put in claims for merchandise that was not repaired when the customer thought the product was defective but it wasn’t.”
Bronx-raised journalist Weiss chatted with NJ Advance Media about his newest e-book, launched final month, which he had labored on for years. The next was edited for brevity.
Why is New Jersey intrinsic to the Crazy Eddie story?
“You notice he was put on trial in New Jersey. That was not an accident. The first criminal investigation that got brought down was because of the FBI initiating an investigation. There was warranty fraud. They were putting in phony claims. They went to the Hackensack satellite office to lodge their complaints because Hackensack has a lot of manufacturers in that area. Hackensack was put off by the Antars because the warranty fraud had ended some months before, and the Antars put off the FBI and said, ‘We don’t have records.’
Instead, this was handled by Newark, a small but experienced white-collar fraud office. It was dropped into (FBI Agent) Paul Hayes’ lap. The Newark FBI office was handling it. So New Jersey brought down Crazy Eddie. I tell you, if it had gone to New York, there is an excellent chance it could have gotten into the hands of an FBI agent who did not have Paul Hayes’ exceptional qualities, and it might not ever have been solved, but it went to the worst for Crazy Eddie This guy has the patience of Job and real business smarts, quite a combination and when it went to the U.S. Attorney’s office and had this detail-oriented Paul Weissman, the New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s office — very much intersecting with Hayes. It was no accident that the trial took place in New Jersey.”
Why is that this attention-grabbing a lot later?
“Let’s look at it on two levels. As marketing, everyone remembers it. It was mentioned all over. It’s still used as a metaphor. He was not the first crazy merchant. It is a national metaphor, and as fraud, it was a classic accounting fraud, and it is taught in business schools everywhere as a case study for corporate crime. It is used as a lesson among forensics accountants. This is how fraud is carried out.”
The e-book reveals that for any nickel Eddie might get, he took a dime, he beat his spouse, and manipulated and intimidated individuals. What else ought to we find out about him?
“He had no conscience. The funny thing about Eddie, he had his limitations as a fraudster. He did not have the capacity to think two steps ahead. Sammy was the CFO, and he’s having problems around ‘90-91. He (tells) Eddie I can’t pay my lawyer’s bills. He did not understand. This man is the CFO of your company. (Eddie) was selfish and stupid, and it didn’t occur to him that this cousin of his would become an informant. He breached the loyalty and the bonds of family that would have kept them from going to the feds. Look at how he treated his ex-wife. So what did she do? She went to the feds.”
Do I dare ask what his good qualities had been?
“He was quite a marketing genius. He had a real feel for the youth market that confounded the manufacturers. He was a brilliant marketer. He had a real sense of the market. He knew how to sell. He knew how to train his salesmen.”
Why ought to individuals nonetheless care about Crazy Eddie?
“They should care because the same impulse that led Crazy Eddie to do what he did to everyone in sight — that never went away. There are other CEOs out there. They are as crooked as he was. You have to know what he did and why he did it. And it’s helpful — I would even say necessary — to know the kind of mentality that led to Eddie being the way he was, to persuade other good people to commit felonies. How it is possible for that to happen? And how it could happen to you under certain circumstances. How you could become a victim, or in time, become a perpetrator because that’s what he did.”
Jacqueline Cutler could also be reached at email@example.com. Discover NJ.com on Fb.
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